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Baby cries in fancy restaurant, Twitter war ensues

Grant Achatz
Grant Achatz
Liberty Unyielding

Give Chef Grant Achatz credit, if for nothing else than for cramming more content into the 140 characters allowable within a tweet than any human before him. Achatz is chief cook and bottle washer at the tony Chicago restaurant Alinea.

Last Saturday, a couple came to dine at Achatz’s temple of gastronomy with their 8-month-old in tow. They hadn’t planned to bring junior, but their baby sitter canceled at the last minute. The infant, according to Chicago Now, cried non-stop (as infants will do), disrupting the experience of other diners who had paid the considerable freight for a meal.

Achatz after the fact tweeted the following message:

Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no,but..

— Grant Achatz (@Gachatz) January 12, 2014

But here’s the kicker. Alinea doesn’t operate like your average high-end restaurant, where you eat and drink and then receive a check. As Today explains:

Instead of traditional reservations, the restaurant offers a ticketed system, where diners must pay between $210 and $265 up front for the tasting-menu-only dinner (the price does not include tax, tip or beverages). The restaurant does not accept walk-ins.

… Alinea does allow diners to sell or giveaway their diner tickets, which must be booked weeks, even months, in advance.

Rupert Vaughan, a cookbook writer, tweeted, "What are they supposed to do if their sitter cancelled at the last minute? $1000 worth of non-refundable tickets."


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